I will never, ever, get to the end of my tbr list, because by the time I have finished reading a book I have uncovered five more to add. You know how it is. Because of this, it is not unusual for a book I am very excited to read to be forgotten in the depths of the pile, only to by pulled out by the passing word of a fellow book lover. This happened to me this week when Kyla mentioned that she was thoroughly enjoying her current read, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.
“Hey! I wanted to read that. I have it around here somewhere!” I cried. And so I went digging and the pair of us settled down with our respective copies to enjoy and, when she’s done, discuss the book.
I had not read anything by Christopher Moore prior to Lamb, and, though intrigued by the concept of this book, knew little of it beyond its basic premise. And such, I was not prepared for just how humorous the novel would be – I believe that I alarmed more than a few people with my public outbursts of hilarity.
Lamb, as implied by the title, is narrated by the character Biff (or Levi, called Biff), the best friend of the young Christ. He is not, perhaps, the most obvious choose for the best friend of the messiah, being the self-acclaimed inventor of sarcasm and somewhat of a sex fiend, but his heart is good and his loyalty strong. It is through Bif’s eyes that we witness the youth and adolescence of Christ, from when the pair meet at the age of six, through their travels and learnings, the banding together of the apostles, right through to the crucifixion.
I think, perhaps, that I had just the right level of biblical knowledge to thoroughly enjoy this book – just enough to realise and understand all the references, but not enough to have grown up with a strong knowledge that would prevent me from picking up this somewhat cheeky tale in the first place. This is not, I would think, a book for everyone, and yet despite this, I would applaud Moore for walking that fine line between irreverence and respect – because for all the humour and sarcasm of the novel, I do consider it to be, at its core, respectful to the message of the bible.
I enjoyed Lamb immensely – for its humour, for its clever interweaving of stories, and for its respectful translation of the morals and lessons of the bible. As I said above, I’m sure this is not a book for everyone, and I would love to hear from those of you who have read this book and who may have a differing opinion. Come chat to me in the comments below.